PLoT School hosts screening of Holding Ground documentary.

Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street

This inspiring film chronicles the decade-long struggle of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) and community members of the Roxbury section of Boston to transform their neighborhood from one of vacant lots used for illegal dumping, red-lining by banks, and misguided city planning. Through retrospective interviews with community residents, activists, organizers, and city officials, the film highlights the grassroots community organizing efforts of this multi-ethnic (African-American, Latino, Cape Verdean, and European-American), low income community. The efforts of community residents include organizing against illegal dumping, clearing a neighborhood park of drug dealing, and supporting youth in the community by involving them in the design of a community center. The most daunting effort taken on by DSNI was the fight against City Hall for greater control over vacant land in the community. Through their efforts DSNI became the only community group in the nation to win eminent domain power (compulsory purchase power) over vacant land in their community, paving the way for the development of high quality, affordable housing in the neighborhood. The film provides outstanding examples of community organizing, coalition-building, and strategies for multi-ethnic and multi-generational inclusion. This film is a powerful exemplar of community and individual empowerment that allows people to witness the transformation of a community and its residents over a decade.

Available from New Day Films at link below

Marilyn Lennon’s website

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